A Perfect Flair for Summer- Dare to Flair Toddlers Dress

I really enjoy when I have a design that looks fashionable and creative, and more difficult than it actually is to construct. The Dare to Flair Toddlers Dress fits this description. It can be found in the June 2017 issue of I Like Crochet Magazine, and dependent upon the size you make, uses no more than 2 skeins of Lisa Souza Dyeworks Hardtwist yarn.

This girls dress worked in Tunisian Simple stitch is comprised of strips, so you make only rectangles and triangles, these are put together with Reverse Single Crochet, to add an almost rope like edging between all the panels and the edging. I love how this dress allows even a relative beginner complete a project that shines like an advanced piece.

Dare to Flair Toddler Dress www.lindadeancrochet.com

Dare to Flair Toddler Dress Photo courtesy Prime Pulishing

The pattern is sized for a 2T through a girl size 8, and can easily be customized. Add length by making the rectangles longer, add width by making rectangles wider. You may need to make some adjustments on the triangles, but this will depend upon where you want the flair to begin, at the waist, at the thigh, maybe at the hip.

I enjoy the versatility that this dress has, and how it really allows variegated yarn to color pool in a way more like knitting. This design would also be fun worked in color blocks, meaning working different panels different colors and joined together.

www.lindadeancrochet.com

Photo courtesy Prime Publishing

Whenever I design clothes for kids, I always try to make it something that they can be successful getting dressed in themselves. So the piece has not really front of back, hence no way to put it on backwards. If it gets turned inside out, the fabric on the inside is just as pretty as the outside. Pair it with legging, or length it for a full dress effect. Ever little girl will want to wear this dress.

Firelight Shawl a Quick Stunning Work Up

ScannedImageI love a little challenge, and the Firelight Shawl was that for me. As I have stated before, I enjoy having a design that has some constraints, and a desired goal. I often find one-skein projects a fun challenge, however this time it was to create this shawl with a limited number of cones of thread, and a limited number of beads.

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Firelight Shawl

The shape is one that I have found I have a little draw toward, it is stacked short row triangles. I love how this fans outward and has a great uneven edge. It is fun to work up, and hard to put down. I find that if the pattern has a nice “let me get there” point I end up crocheting more. This usually takes me a little further in the work then just a simple row repeat that I can stop at any time.

The bead placement on this shawl definitely highlights the added bling. Unfortunately photos never tend to pick them up well, but trust me it is loaded with beads. There are beads placed at least every 4 stitches, and even then, it is three beads at once.

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Firelight Shawl

Essentially the same stitch is used throughout, with the exception of the beads. Tunisian Crochet is utilized in a Double Knit Stitch, this stitch creates a nice open airy feel to the fabric, while really allowing the yarn and beads to shine.

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Firelight Shawl

There are plans to make a knit version of this pattern, but it does take me a bit longer to get that done and I did not want to hold this up for anyone that might want to create a quick stunning holiday gift. I hope to have knitting ready at the beginning of the year, it is a work in progress. In the meantime give Firelight a try, it is a quick little piece of dazzle that will make you smile.

You can check it out on Craftsy or Ravelry.

A Little Flirt in the Tunisian Skirt

ScannedImageI had a lot of fun creating the Flirt Skirt that can be found in the October 2016 issue of I Like Crochet magazine. It has a slight swing, and is inspired by a simple traditional full skirt. It definitely has a feminine quality, yet it is made from a linen based yarn and thus has a nice structure.

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Tunisian Flirt Skirt Photo courtesy I Like Crochet/ Prime Publishing

The entire skirt is worked vertically, so it is pretty easy to customize it to any size. All you need to do is add or subtract rows to make it bigger or smaller, and if you would like to change the length, simply increase or decrease the number of the beginning chain. All the shaping is created with short rows that give a great flare at the hem.

I definitely need to make this one for myself! I find that giving a little flounce at the hem gives a little more accent to my “curves”. Granted, I am of a large, okay, extra-large size, but that does not mean that I don’t like to have an outfit without some shape. I don’t want to wear a sack and hide, and this skirt allows me to help add a visual balance to my shape. I have found that this skirt shape is very flattering on many different body types.

The construction in essentially in one simple stitch, which gives the overall design a classic, and clean feel, while maintaining a pattern that is easy for beginners. For more seasoned crocheters it is a relatively quick project to work up, making a quick addition to any wardrobe.

It is constructed in a yarn without much stretch, and substituting a yarn with more bounce, like a wool, will definitely give this skirt a different life. While even a hand painted or variegated yarn can give a really great visual effect, causing a slimming vertical line.

Yeah, I am happy with the way this one came together.

Tunisian Simple Stitch….Yes, It Is That Simple

ScannedImageTunisian stitches are unique in crochet as they are worked by “loading” your hook with live loops across the row then working a Return Pass to work all the loops back off. So every row has a two part process, load up the loops, and then work the loops back off. It is also unique as you do not turn your work, but work back and forth on the same side. Tunisian Simple Stitch is a classic stitch in Tunisian crochet, it was one called the “afghan stitch” and creates a vertical line where the stitches stack up upon one another.

Before beginning Tunisian crochet, you need to select the correct size hook, this technique can create a dense fabric if the hook size is too small. My standard rule of thumb is that whatever stand size crochet hook I would use with the chosen yarn, I go up at least 2 sizes in Tunisian. Meaning if with standard crochet I would use a size H/8/5.00mm with a yarn I would choose a Tunisian hook of K/10 ½/6.5mm to get the same drape and feel of the fabric.

To work this stitch, you begin with a chain, insert your hook into the second chain from the hook and pull through a loop, insert your hook into the next chain and pull through a loop, continue this insert hook and pull up a loop until you have worked all the chains have been worked. You will have the same number of loops on the hook as the number of chains you began with. Now you work a Return Pass.

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Insert hook into chain stitch, yarn over, pull through a loop. Repeat this process in all chain stitches across.

The Return Pass is always the same regardless of the Tunisian stitch, unless otherwise stated. You begin with working a chain 1 with the first loop on the hook, then yarn over and pull through 2 loops, yarn over and pull through 2 loops across the loops until 1 loop remains. Now you are ready to begin the next row.

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Return Pass….Chain 1 (with the first loop only, this creates the last stitch), yarn over and pull through 2 loops, repeat the yarn over, pull through 2 loops until 1 loop remains on the hook.

As with most things with crochet the Tunisian Simple Stitch (Tss) is where you place the hook. You do not work in the stitch directly below the loop on your hook, unless otherwise stated as this will cause an increase in the work, working from right to left you insert your hook under the vertical bar of the next stitch, yarn over and pull through a loop, continue inserting your hook under the vertical bar and pull through a loop until you reach the end of the row. Insert your hook into the chain 1 created in the beginning of the Return Pass, this is a little more difficult to work into, and is the last stitch of the row. Now you work the return pass again.

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Insert hook under vertical bar from right to left (reversed if you are left handed), yarn over, pull up a loop, repeat to “load” the hook.

Continue this process, as you are now creating the Tunisian Simple Stitch.

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Tunisian Simple Stitch, also known as the Afghan Stitch

Some Subtel or Not So Subtel Changes

ScannedImageOne thing that I enjoy experimenting with is visual effects in crochet. There are many different ways that this can be accomplished, textural stitches, various stitch locations, colors, but this time I was actually working with a carry a long thread.

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Swatch using a Carry Along thread

I challenged myself to play with something that is relatively simple yet has interest. So I was working with a Tunisian Simple Stitch, changing color on every forward and return pass. I find that I really enjoy this with 3 colors as each row sets up really nicely for the next, and eventually you do not even have to think about what color you are on the strand you need is already there. (If you would like to give it a try for yourself, I have a free pattern using the stitch technique here.)

I was working with some vibrant colors, and wanted to tone it down a bit and even tie the colors together better, so I picked up some Twist Carry Along Yarn from Kreinik Threads and it did the trick. Many would find a complimentary color and add similar color thread to the work, I instead decided to go big, and I pared a color that would stand out, gold. This allows for the colors to actually find more harmony together. The eye begins to tone down the brightness of the vibrant yarns as they have a constant that is running through all of them. One of the reasons I chose the gold as the carry a long color was that if I am going to put in this extra work, I want it to be seen. I want someone to recognize my effort, if you have a hard time telling that there was something different done then it almost seems like there is no payoff for my extra work. I decided to be bold.

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Swatch without a thread

Using a carry a long thread is actually pretty easy, you just work 2 strands together, one being your main yarn and the other being your thread. The only difficulty comes in changing the color of the main yarn, you want to make sure that you do not get everything too tangled, so remember to overlap your yarns in a consistent direction and keep the thread out of the twist.

So if you want to challenge yourself, reach into your stash of yarn and pull out a couple of yarns are random, now use them together, if the colors seem like they won’t work try using a thread, either the same as I tried, or even a metallic sewing thread or a beautiful embroidery type. See how it can change the effect. Play, you might find a pleasant surprise.